The 4 Best 3D Printers for Beginners in 2021

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The Rundown
"The AnyCubic Photo UV LCD 3D printer is easy to use, has high resolution for printing, and an attractive industrial design."
"The Create 3D Pen allows you to quickly and easily create 3D shapes without needing to first design them on a computer."
Best for Tinkerers:
Monoprice Select Mini 2 at Amazon
"This printer offers built-in software and can work with your slicer of choice."
Most Versatile:
FlashForge Finder at Amazon
"The printer supports a 3D Cloud function which enables you to store your models online and check your printing status."

The best 3D printers for beginners need to be easy to use and come at a price that won't break the bank. 3D printers are handy for a number of applications like architecture model design, miniatures, dental appliances, jewelry, toys, and many other things. Really, your imagination is the limit when it comes to what you can print. Our top choice for most beginners is the AnyCubic Photo UV 3D printer at Amazon. It has a simple interface with just four settings, has a high resolution and print quality, and useful software that makes it easy to design and preview your prints.

FOr a bigger list of 3D printers, take a look at our list of the best 3D printers. Otherwise, read on to see the best 3D printers for beginners.

Best Value: AnyCubic Photon UV LCD 3D Printer

The AnyCubic Photon UV is a 3D printer that makes it easy for beginners. It comes with an attractive, industrial CNC metal design with a satin finish, and it's easy to set up and use with the included software. There are only four settings you need to adjust out of the box, unlike most other 3D printers. Despite the fewer settings, you're not making any big sacrifices. Resolution is high, with good accuracy and smooth detail with XY at 47 microns and Z layer height down to 10 microns. The interface is interactive, letting you preview the monitor and print status in real-time. The included software is also a nice way to design and learn your way around the printer.

Best Budget: 3Doodler Create 3D Pen

If you're working with a shoestring budget, the 3Doodler Create 3D Pen is worth considering. While it's admittedly not a traditional 3D printer, it still works like one — and may be your only real option in the sub-$75 range. The Create 3D Pen is exactly as it sounds; it’s basically a pen that emits instantly-cooled filament, so you can “draw” a shape in 3D.

The good news for beginners is that the Create 3D Pen allows you to quickly and easily create 3D shapes without needing to first design them on a computer. There’s also almost no setup involved — just insert some filament into the pen, then start creating shapes. All you have to do it turn on the pen, set its temperature, and press the 'fast' or 'slow' button to get things started. The pen comes with five projects, but you can also download additional free instructional guides online. The pen measures 6.3" x 0.7" x 0.7" and weighs 12.8 ounces, so it's easy to transport.

Best for Tinkerers: Monoprice Select Mini 2

The Monoprice Select Mini 2 is a great midrange printer for beginners — especially those who like to tinker. The 3D printer is slightly advanced compared to others on our list; it offers built-in software and can work with your slicer of choice. That means if you're already familiar with a popular program like Cura or Repetier, for example, you're good to go. There are other things to like about the Monoprice Select Mini 2 as well; it ships fully assembled so you won't have to cobble it together, it has a MicroSDTM card with preinstalled models, it can work with a wide array of filaments, it prints at 55mm/second, and it has a 3.7" IPS screen for easy navigation.

On the downside, the Monoprice Select Mini 2 has a relatively small build scope given its open design (4.7" x 4.7" x 4.7") and it has no protective enclosure — so you’ll need to be extra careful around the heated build plate.

Most Versatile: FlashForge Finder

If you're shopping for a 3D printer that works with any system and via any connectivity mode, the FlashForge Finder may be the printer for you. Not only is it compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux computers, but it can also connect through a USB cable, over Wi-Fi, or even using a USB drive. The 3D printer also has a lot of intelligent features, including an assisted leveling system which — via instructions on the printer's 3.5-inch color touchscreen — can help you calibrate your build plate for precise printing. Speaking of the build plate, FlashForge Finder's is non-heated and slides in/out of the machine which makes removing your completed print super easy. The printer also supports 3D Cloud function which enables you to store your models online and check your printing status.

If you're using the Finder at home, you'll appreciate how quiet it is. Operating at 50 decibels and under (about the same as your refrigerator), it's suitable for late-night use — even if you have little ones sleeping. When it comes to filament, the machine prints PLA only, but the Finder does come with a free spool and you can buy refills from other brands.

Final Verdict

The best 3D printer for beginners is the AnyCubic Photo UV (view at Amazon). It has an attractive industrial design, easy-to-use software, and high-resolution printing capabilities. The 3Doodler Create 3D Pen (view at Amazon) is a simple and fairly affordable option for those who just want the basics of design without any added frills.

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